Market News & Headlines >> Justice Dept. Sues Over Precision Planting Deal

The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to prevent Deere & Co from buying Monsanto Co.'s Precision Planting LLC farm equipment business.

The Justice Department said in its filing that Precision Planting represents the only real competition for Deere in the manufacturing of high-speed precision planting equipment and the deal would mean that farmers would have to pay higher prices for such equipment. 

In a statement, Deere called the Justice Department's antitrust concerns "misguided” and said it would “vigorously defend the transaction” along with Monsanto subsidiary, The Climate Corporation.

Deere and The Climate Corporation announced last November that they had signed a definitive agreement for Deere to acquire the Precision Planting LLC business. The Justice Department complaint puts the transaction price at about $190 million. In February, Deere completed its acquisition of Monosem, which also makes precision planters.